12th December 2013
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem – gosh that sounds good!!!
I don’t think it will be a white Christmas but it surely is a white advent!!!! We had 50 cms of snow last night and the city is closed. Yesterday I went to see Rachel and family in Givat Zeev and got stuck on the main road back for one and a half hours as the police closed road number one into Jerusalem, telling everyone to drive on route 443, then closed route 443!!! Everything looks wonderful but in fact is slushy and quite revolting!! Thousands of people driving up from Tel Aviv to see the snow at night, got stuck on the main road and are now sleeping in Binyanei haUma hall, rescued by the police!!!! The Sheraton at the entrance ot town has offered free room and board to 50 stranded people too. The call is out from the Municipality for Jerusalemites willing to put these lost folk up for Shabbat.
I walked up to the corner shop this morning to be met with great good humour by several men wearing plastic bin bags instead of boots! Of al the people I saw, every single one offered me help. Either I look older than I am or it was the fact that I took hiking sticks with me to aid my stability!!!
What a week!
Mr Netanyahu was criticised for not going to the Mandela funeral, but no-one asked him if he was invited!
Mr Obama was caught together with David Cameron, flirting with the Danish Prime Minister – an extremely attractive blonde, much to the chagrin of Michelle. No-one is sure whether it was the flirting or the lack of respect during the funeral of Nelson Mandela. Not only that but the South African authorities brought in a sign language translator to stand right next to the President and he turned out to be schizophrenic. Absolutely ridiculous.
Rabbi Jeremy Rosen wrote a truly excellent article about Nelson Mandela, the man, the leader and the diplomat. http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.
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The furore over the agreement with Iran has not abated. The mistrust is natural, after all we were fooled for so many years by the overseers and are fully aware that the leadership in Iran is bent on destruction of all that is not Islamic.
While in the airport at Bangkok we were in a lift with a very very Moslem gentleman in a wheelchair and his grandson. “Where are you from”? Asked the grandson. “”From Israel” we answered. “We are from Saudi Arabia – may I shake your hand”!!! I felt great warmth and then thought of the reasons behind their friendship, which are purely Sunni/Shia infighting. How sad.
We got back from Thailand on Wednesday morning, raced to see the grandchildren and then home. Thinking about our trip I decided that Melbourne was phenomenal, our hosts outstanding and friends delightful; Sydney also, just gorgeous and the highlight was probably the tour of the harbour in Ian’s yacht with friends. Loved it. Bangkok was stressful, noisy and too many prostitutes, despite the exquisite Temples. Chang Rai and Chang Mai amazing, truly incredible. Walking with elephants and hill climbing with the hill tribes of the Kings Project – The Kings determined effort to stop the opium fields and provide a living for the hill tribes with genuine crops. Then Phuket – which is noisier has even more prostitutes than Bangkok. What I love is arriving on board the El Al flight home. El Al – warmth, friendliness, efficiency and a sense of home. Gosh I love it!!! I sat beside a lovely lady who began to chat – and we discovered she is the niece of our Melbourne hosts and Zvi knows her entire family!!! Also sitting near me was Professor Shechter – Nobel Prize recipient and if Zvi has anything to do with it – the next President of Israel.
That’s it! We are currently trying to bring my daughter and family to our home in Jerusalem because they have no electricity or heating – not a good thing with three young children. The problem is that the roads are closed in anticipation of the next blizzard.
So from a white and cold Jerusalem, we wish you a warm and cosy Shabbat.
I cannot tell you that the shops are closing because they didn’t open! I cannot tell you that everyone is going home because they didn’t leave home! I can only tell you that behind the cold exterior of a Jerusalem snowscape the homes are warmed by the sense of Shabbat, the glowing faces of the children and the traditional Shabbat meal – even if it is cold rather than lovely warming cholent!!
Shabbat Shalom to all
With much love